Linda-Ann Newsome was a well-known triathlon fixture in the Ashburn, VA community but now resides in St Petersburg, FL with her family. Hers is a story that includes overcoming a blown ACL and torn meniscus to pursue her love of racing Ironman distance triathlons, marathons, and ultra marathons everywhere.
Known by her friends as LA, Linda-Ann leads a very full life. She is a reading tutor for elementary students, mother of 2 teens (one in college), and wife to a traveling business exec, all the while training for various races. Sports have always played a very important part of her life. She was a four-time All-American Women’s Basketball player and member of the Women’s AAU Jr National Basketball team, as well as the holder of Florida’s State 3A high jump record.
At the age of 36, Linda-Ann began racing various local fun runs and short triathlons. She soon discovered she really enjoyed the training, racing, and triathlon community. Linda-Ann loved feeling fit and influencing others to exercise and live a healthy lifestyle.
Having finished several short triathlons, she set her next goal on Ironman Lake Placid 2005. A full Ironman…all 140.6 miles of it. Broken down it’s a 2.4-mile swim followed by a 112-mile bike then a run of 26.2 miles. That first Ironman left her with such a feeling of accomplishment that she wanted more and signed up again for the following year. Triathlons were now more than a fun thing to do on the weekends. Training and racing had become a lifestyle.
Almost a full year of training later, in the spring of 2006 and only a few weeks from her second Lake Placid Ironman, Linda-Ann offered to play in a basketball game for charity. She wanted to help raise money for a good cause. Jon, her husband and training partner, gave her a few encouraging words before the buzzer, "Don't you DARE get hurt...we have Ironman Lake Placid in six weeks!" Wouldn't you know it, but only 5 minutes into the game she blew out her ACL and tore her meniscus. Lake Placid and perhaps all of the other activities she enjoyed would have to wait.
One of the best decisions Linda-Ann ever made to get back to the life she loved was entrusting her care and ACL reconstruction to Dr. Randall Peyton. He made a new ACL with her own hamstring tendons. Within 4 short months post-surgery and some very intense physical therapy, she was not only back to racing triathlons, but was winning them, and no brace needed!
Linda-Ann stood on the podium in her last 2 triathlons of that very season. She even got a personal record in a 1/2 marathon.
"None of this would ever have been possible without the expertise, skill, and care from Dr. Peyton, the area’s most experienced orthopaedic surgeon," says Linda-Ann.
Since her surgery, LA has gone on to become a featured athlete in HerSports magazine. She has finished 4 more Ironman distances including the World Championships in Kona. LA placed 20th among all women in the Nautica South Beach Triathlon and 1st in her age group at Dextro Energy ITU World Championships. She also finished the Boston Marathon; ran the JFK 50-miler, her first ultramarathon; and had top finishes at at several 70.3s including the Eagleman 70.3.
What does she have planned for the upcoming year? Linda-Ann recently ran the Ragnar Relay totaling 191 miles from Miami to Key West. And yes...she drew the leg that involved running through the FL Everglades in the middle of the night with only a headlamp devoid of all people (and thankfully alligators) for miles.
Linda-Ann will compete in several 1/2 marathons, the prestigious Boston Marathon again, a few half Ironmans, and Ironman FL late in the season. She is looking forward to her first ever tower climb (racing up the stairwell of a skyscraper) and hopefully will qualify for Comrades Ultra Marathon South Africa in the next year or so.